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The Big Picture

'Have you ever heard of Plato, Aristotle, Socrates? Morons.' -- Vizzini from "The Princess Bride"

Saturday, December 19, 2009

I'm back

Greetings BPers!

I am finally re-entering the blogosphere. I know it has been a while since I've written anything -- over a year??? There are reasons for that. Last year it was the presidential election, and many other of life's little details which took over and filled all my time.

First I had a computer crash. That led me into the world of programming. I spent months learning just how Windows works, and all related dirty little secrets. I also developed quite a windows utility toolkit. Fun stuff. Well, no not really, but now I understand how it all works.

Then I moved. Yes, I no longer live in Las Vegas. My little family picked up and moved to Seattle, Washington. And I gotsta say... We love it!

As far as my blogging plans go, I will resume discussing topics revolving around science and the bible. I have also returned to writing books. In that regard, I have begun to work using Google Docs. There are some really cool features available there, like sharing, document control, online forms and surveys, and Google gadgets. I have gotten to be a geeky fan of iGoogle.

Well, see you around the campus. (P.S. I will have some links up sometime soon.)

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Friday, August 08, 2008

Creationism's simplistic lies

Once again, I have to thank PZ for this link. Go check out this video of Dr. Ron Carlson on Worldview Tube. It would be funny as a parody of creationists like Ken Ham and Ron Comfort if it wasn't for the fact that this guy is serious.

His entire point isn't just wrong because he is ignorant of the truth and facts, it is wrong because he lies about the truth and facts. He is egregariously lying about the truth of science. He leaves out all the significant details which completely destroys his entire argument.

So what is his argument? It is that there is circular logic (solely) being employed in dating fossils and geologic strata. And that circular logic has its end in wrongfully substantiating evolution and the age of the earth. His argument is based on only one aspect, that fossils are used to date geologic strata and geologic strata are used to date fossils. This is plainly a lie. But then again I can almost understand why he would use such a blatant and easily falsifiable lie. The bible tells him he can lie about anything if it furthers the cause for Christ:

"For if the truth of God has increased through my lie to His glory, why am I also still judged as a sinner?" [Romans 3:7 NKJV]
At least we know why he lied so willfully and easily. But let us consider the nature of the lie and its sheer magnitude.

1. This is false first and foremost because this is not the only way things are dated. If he had taken the time to read those encyclopedia passages he cited, he would know this. I am sure he did because he had to in order to find those quotes he was looking for.

The truth is there are many ways of dating fossils and the geologic strata. Radiometric dating (and not just radio-carbon dating) all are used to date both rocks and fossils. Now here is the proof. We have roughly 10,000 years of human history where we made a non-natural mark on nature; cave-paintings, buildings, pottery, tools for hunting, etc. We can date those things using history and physical evidence. But further when we turn around and independantly date those things using science -- radiometric dating -- we come up with the same ages. So we know the methods are accurate. Thus we can date almost anything within a relative range of accuracy and trust that those ages are both real and fact. Dr Carlson never tells you this because it destroys his entire argument. He prefers to lie.

2. Dr Carlson's logic is internally flawed, he knows it and ignores that glaring flaw. His entire "circular logic" argument of the geologic strata and fossils would -- by definition -- be entirely relative. In other words, if what he were saying was true, then there would be no way at all, to put specific dates on anything in the strata or the fossils. For if the only way to date strata is by the fossils, and the only way to date fossils is by the strata they are in, then there would be no method to put a numbered age to either.

Either one or the other, or both, must somehow be able to be dated using an independant method which does provide a numbered age in order to provide an age scale for the entire geologic column and fossils. That is done by radio-dating the samples.

So when Dr Carlson says the Jurassic period was 65 million years ago, or the earth is 4.5 billion years old, he is admitting that there is another method to date things, one that is more objective than the subjective method of comparing fossils to strata to fossils.

3. When Dr Carlson is discussing the geologic column and evolution, he fails to mention one very important fact which completely invalidates his entire argument. That the reason fossils have been used to relatively date strata is that complex organisms all appear late in the column and simple organisms all appear early in the column and that has never been found to be untrue in all of the research ever done.

That fact that horses, humans, chimps dinosaurs, etc, have never been found in the earliest strata and only in the most recent strata shows that organisms grew in complexity as time passed.

4. Speaking of the geologic column, Dr Carlson indulges in some tiresome chicanery. He makes the claim that the "entire" geologic column has never been found in one place. What he fails to mention is twofold; one, that the earth is an active body, full of energy and motion, constantly churning up the surface via such methods as plate techtonics and magma discharge, and second that all the layers have been found in various places around the world, proving that they all exist and existed.

Failing to mention that makes his argument dishonest at best.

5. Finally he claims that the world is only 6,000 years old. Not only is there verifiable proof that humans have been around in modern "civilized" form for at least 10,000 years, but his only evidence to the contrary is a book. I don't even trust my science books that much to unequivacably accept them, I like to reproduce the experiments they explain, and find outside proof that their claims are correct. But this guy trusts implicitly a book written by superstitious goat herders written three thousand years ago.

Not to mention that this particular claim, that the world is only 6,000 years old runs into problems with exactly every single area of science, thus by making it, Dr Carlson is saying that all science is wrong, and nothing valid can come out of it. Quantum physics, wrong because the world is only 6,000 years old and thus radioactivity is false. Astrophysics, wrong, becuase the world is only 6,000 years old and thus all light from all stars can only be at most 6,000 years old. So that nuclear reactor and that computer and that microwave oven you have? Those are all delusions in your mind because they cannot exist because the science they are founded upon is false because the earth is really 6,000 years old.

5. Oh, and did I mention that PZ Myers also wrote about this, and picked apart his claims about Charles Lyell? It seems that Dr Carlson cannot help but tell lies and mislead and hide the obvious truth.

Who knew that the "Truth" was maintained by so many lies and deceptions? I guess that is why I prefer the truth, which is comprised of, well, the truth, facts and reality.

[Update:] P.S. At least Answers in Genesis and Ken Ham are --shall we say-- thorough enough to acknowledge that there are other methods of dating; namely radiometric dating. Their excuse turns out to be that we cannot know if radioactivity, that is the radioactive decay constants, are actually constant throughout time (e.g. here). They are and we have proof of that as well. But they use as proof the fact that science while determining another constant, the speed of light, changed the value many times meaning the actual speed of light must have changed. Of course the fact that instruments moved from a state of crudity to a state of sophistication over that same period makes no difference. Again, this is an example of just how horrid their excuses and feeble lies really are to someone who knows the truth.

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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Religion, moral conscience and health care

The Washington Post has an article up concerning a new Bush rule winding its way through the government towards becoming the law of the land.
A Bush administration proposal aimed at protecting health-care workers who object to abortion, and to birth-control methods they consider tantamount to abortion, has escalated a bitter debate over the balance between religious freedom and patients' rights.

You can read the article for more specific information on this, but the short of it is that doctors, nurses, pharmacists, etc. under this new rule can refuse to provide services to patients who desire them based on their own personal religious views. In other words, if a pharmacist is personally anti-birth control, then he can refuse to sell the pill, condoms, etc. If a nurse is anti-abortion and considers "plan B" abortion, then she can refuse to administer it to a rape victim. If an ambulance driver does not believe in being exposed to a woman who was having her period when she was ill then he would not have to give care to that woman.

That, on the surface, sounds quite reasonable. Why be forced to do something that you find morally reprehensible personally? But here is the problem:

What do you do about a white person who refuses to give care to a black person? It was only a mere few decades ago that that moral reprehension was in effect. Do we bring that back for white doctors who refuse to treat black patients on moral grounds? The same goes for gay patients, patients of another religion which is found to be "satanic" in its origin?

Just where do you draw the line when it comes to personal religious morals and those patients who violate them? Do you say it is acceptable to not give plan B to a patient, but not acceptable to refuse treatment to a black man?

No, the only real solution, and the real rule Bush and Co. should be pushing through is this: If you are not willing to fulfill all your duties as a doctor/nurse/pharmacist by giving your patients all that they require, then you should consider another line of work.

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Friday, June 27, 2008

HAHA Ray Comfort can be funny!

Ray is such a stitch. He has a post up, I call it the "water is wet" post. He entitled the post, "Top Ten Predicted Atheist Objections to the Below Statement:"

"Water is wet." -- Ray Comfort

My response must have come in at number 11: "so what?"

I thought about how useless and inconsequential this statement is. And looking down his list, I came to the conclusion that he is pulling off a "Seinfeld;" a statement about nothing. He seems to want to show that something so obvious can be made to be contestable by atheists if it is uttered by a young earth creationist. [And I decided to leave out the actual real science which makes this statement absurd; along the lines of heat is hot, the sky is blue, ice is cold, etc.] Because real science is totally lost on people like Ray Comfort.

Instead, I thought about making another statement and propose similar rebuttals I predict Ray and other fundie Christians would say:

"God is good" -- Jeffperado

1. "Of course God is good, he's God after all"
2. "God has to be good, for he cannot be anything else by definition"
3. "If God were bad, then he would not be worthy of worship"
4. "Other Gods can claim to be good, but only God is good"
5. "God only does good things, so he must be good"
6. "The bible tells me so, and I believe in the bible"
7. "My parents taught me about God, and they said he was good, so he must be good"
8. "I go to church every week, and all I hear is how good God is. If my church tells me this, it must be true"
9. "Anyone who says their God is better, or says there is no God is wrong, therefore God is good"
10. "I believe, and my beliefs are right"

Just like the absurdity of the "water is wet" canard, the "God is good" is a canard as well. The truth lies in the nuance; what exactly does it mean to be 'wet' or for that matter 'good'?

Just like I would tell Ray that wetness is a property of water, and not an absolute one at that.
(Consider deep freezing water into ice -- is ice wet? Yet ice is still water). But can we do the same for God and good? Is there a way to seperate them? Christians would say no, that by definition, everything God does is good, and everything good that happens comes from God. Except, of course, when God --according to the bible-- kills babies, pregnant women, and small children. Or when an atheist does a decidedly good thing.

Then it isn't "God is good" any more; it is "God has a plan". And that plan is good.

Now go back and reread Ray's post. You will immediately see that what Ray is really saying is that he is projecting his own brand of convoluted illogic and lack of facts unto atheists in hops of convincing himself and others like him that atheists are really as screwed up and misinformed as he is, and thus his belief system is as valid as the system of reality found in atheism.

But really all Ray Comfort is, is funny in a sad sort of way.

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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Dobson and Obama: Biblical Christianity

I have to say, I am amused by James Dobson. But not so much that I can just ignore him and his power in this great country. He is, by any terms, a silly person. He claims that he cannot be compared to the Rev. Al Sharpton, because he is not a reverend. He claims he is not a theologian. Yet despite being neither of these things, he can claim:
"Evangelicals are people who take Bible interpretation very seriously, and the sort of speech he gave shows that he is worlds away in the views of evangelicals," he said

And that makes him silly.

Notice how he is an evangelical, but not a reverend or theologian.. That makes it all ok to say ministerial and theological things with authority and then claim not to have that authority.

But the real core; the real meat of the issue is not what Obama said, or what Dobson claims. It is that there is this perception among the Christian Right that only their views on Christianity matter, and those of all the other millions of Christians out there are ignorant or unimportant. And most importantly, this great nation should only be controlled by those Christian views approved by the Christian right. Thus making this country a theocracy, even though it isn't because other Christians and non-Christians can have their views, only that they are not important or useful in governing.

Hypocrisy, thy name is Dobson.

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Monday, June 23, 2008

Family Research Council Misses The Point Yet Again

Tony Perkins' Washington Update has this blurb:

Bench Pressing: Equality CA Urges Court to Strike Initiative

The clock is ticking on California's brief honeymoon with same-sex "marriage," and homosexual activists are doing everything in their power to make the court's May 15 verdict permanent. In a last-ditch effort to rob the people of their input in November, advocates of homosexual "marriage" are asking the high court to strike down the marriage protection amendment before it reaches the ballot. Using a tactic that same-sex couples test-drove in Oregon, the groups argue that the initiative "would change the state's Constitution so profoundly that it would amount to a revision." Unlike a simple amendment, a revision--as defined by California law--would require both voters' approval and that of the legislature. When liberals used this same argument to overturn the marriage protection amendment in Oregon last month, it failed. The court of appeals upheld the amendment, sending a powerful message on the effectiveness of a constitutional amendment defining marriage.

This week, Equality California is fine-tuning the strategy, suggesting that "if enacted, [the ballot initiative] would eviscerate the principle of equal citizenship for gay and lesbian people and strip the courts of their authority to enforce basic constitutional guarantees." (Translation: We recognize that the people of California oppose homosexual "marriage," and we'll use every possible loophole to circumvent the democratic process). Unfortunately for same-sex proponents, judicial activism may be common in California's courts, but the nullification of ballot initiatives is not. As the San Francisco Chronicle pointed out, justices seldom intervene once an amendment has qualified for the ballot. Obviously Equality California is more afraid of the people's verdict than the court's. Join us in making more Californians aware of what's at stake this fall. Log on to www.frc.org/marriage to order your free marriage protection kit!

Just how many falsehoods and scare words did you see?
To show you exactly how absurd this line of argument really is, let us take that first sentence and change its meaning a tiny little bit: "The clock is ticking on California's brief honeymoon with [emancipation of slaves] and [abolitionists] are doing everything in their power to make the court's May 15 verdict permanent." If the subject were changed to reinstituting slavery, and that lying on a popular vote then slavery can simply be made legal by a popular vote. You cannot simply vote and take away the equality and rights of one group of people just because they happen to be a bit different in some aspect. Yet this is exactly what FRC and the California initiative are doing. They are attempting to repeal the civil rights equalization of gays. It is no different than the Jim Crow laws of the south and their fighting the entire civil rights movement of blacks.

This sentence repeats the inanity: "(Translation: We recognize that the people of California oppose homosexual "marriage," and we'll use every possible loophole to circumvent the democratic process). " Let me translate the translation: If a majority of Californians vote to kill all the citizens of Los Angeles and burn them for fuel, then the democratic process rules! And cheap energy to boot!! Unfortunately that completely ridiculuous analogy completely shows just how brilliant our founding fathers were and how ignorant the FRC and Tony Perkins. For if you were to use Tony's "logic" regarding our true democratic process, then he would support the murdering of every Los Angelean for fuel if California voted for it. Our founding fathers put in a safeguard against that "majority rules" abuse and desecration of the minority. It is those very same "activist" courts!

What if 50.1% of Americans voted to permanantly ban Tony Perkins to some desolate area of Antartica permanantly? would he look to "activist" courts to stay the decision, or would he just shrug his shoulders and say ok?

Look, its all very simple. America will adjust to this just like they did when it came to the civil rights movement of the 50s/60s. Equality is inevitable in the psyche of America. Some fight it, but they are on the losing end, as American history has shown. Opposite-sex marriages are not in the process of losing their value to their participants. It is just that their next door neighbors who happen to be gay, now have the exact same rights as they do.

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Monday, June 16, 2008

Same-Sex Marriage.. A Question

Considering the complete apoplexy of the Family Researh Council over the recent California Supreme Court decision to allow same sex marriage. One has to wonder the simple..

Just what is the reason to fight same-sex marriage? I have been waiting for years for an actual reason, but I have yet to hear even the most modest of excuses/reasons. So what is it?

I mean I hear some railing about 'traditional' marriage, but we all know that reality shows there is no such thing. "Traditional" marriage has changed so much over the centuries... We've had plural marriages, arranged marriages, same-race marriages, "shotgun" weddings. Then there is the issue of divorce; is it Mosiac? Is it Pauline? Is it Jesusian? Is it a product of the 19th century? Is it modern? Is it Catholic pre-Vatican II or post? There seems to be nothing in the standard vernacular of 'traditional' which actually is traditional. Even the man-woman thing is flexible in history. The Greeks and Romans had differing views on this. Even Judeo-Christian views are highly flexible on this; what represented same-sex protectorate companionship and what difference from this was marriage? Jesus and his disciples? Jesus and the one specific disciple "whom he loved"? Paul and Titus? There is nothing there either in terms of male companionship and wedded protectorship at all.

So just what is the fierce apprehension of fundamentalist Christians to same-sex marriage? How does it 'destroy' the institution of marriage for all those currently wedded opposite-sex marriages?

Sometimes I hear non-sensical posturings about it being "harmful/detrimental" to children. Or that it will cause sexual-identity problems in children. Both of these are are unfounded and fear-mongering to boot. If children of straight parents have no sexual identity problems, then there would be no gays at all. That is so bleedingly obvious, I cannot fathom that that excuse is ever even honestly made. Gay parents do not make gay children. Gay parents make children who take their own paths and respect those who take other paths, because they understand them. Gay parents raise more straight children than they do gay children.

But there is one argument against gays and same sex marriage that does make sense. Hatred of gays and the desire to keep them pinned down as second-class citizens not deserving of the same rights and priveledges as straights. How could I possibly argue against blind hatred?

I cannot. The hatred of gays will always remain among these people. There is no arguing that and no changing that. They hate and they struggle to make their hatred the law of the land.

They have that right. They can continue to hate on gays and actively try to keep gays from enjoying the very same rights and priveledges they benefit from. They can do that.

But the same is true of those of us who support gay rights. We can fight and proclaim as well.

So then, just what is the problem with allowing others to live their lives as they want and enjoy the exact same rights as we enjoy?

The answer seems to be, as always, that these fundie Christians want to force their personal beliefs on all the rest of us.

And do you think that will stop with same sex marriage?

Let them profess, proclaim, and pursue activism all they want. That is their right. Just don't let them write their views into all of our laws.

Really. I am interested in knowing why this is so bad.

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Sunday, June 15, 2008

Possible Republican VP Bobby Jindal

Over at Crooks & Liars, Nicole Belle shares with us a clip of possible Repub Veep Bobby Jindal. Head there for the clip. This quote is what interested me. As you know I am a scientist and love science in all its branches. Biology however seems to be the one singled out for attack by fundamental Christians (Republicans pretty much frown on all science...)
As a parent, when my kids go to schools, when they go to public schools, I want them to be presented with the best thinking. I want them to be able to make decisions for themselves. I want them to see the best data. I personally think that the life, human life and the world we live in wasn’t created accidentally. I do think that there’s a creator. I’m a Christian. I do think that God played a role in creating not only earth, but mankind. Now, the way that he did it, I’d certainly want my kids to be exposed to the very best science. I don’t want them to be–I don’t want any facts or theories or explanations to be withheld from them because of political correctness. The way we’re going to have smart, intelligent kids is exposing them to the very best science and let them not only decide, but also let them contribute to that body of knowledge.

I thought it would be fun to pick this apart line by line and show just how absurd (and often self-contradictory) it is. Idiocy seems to hold more value than fact and reality when it comes to Republican science policy.

As a parent, when my kids go to schools, when they go to public schools, I want them to be presented with the best thinking. Translation: School vouchers, baby! Send my kids to private Christian schools on public tax dollars and let all public schools die a starved death.

I want them to be able to make decisions for themselves. Translation: I want them to make the exact same decisions as me regardless of what they are taught. For example, no real sex education, only abstinence only edumacatin' for my kids....

I want them to see the best data. Translation: I want them to only see the data I approve of and not that of the real world. For example, they will only get abstinence only education; none of that safe-sex nonsense.

I personally think that the life, human life and the world we live in wasn’t created accidentally. Translation: All evidence to the contrary, they will only learn what I was taught to believe no matter what new evidence has arisen.

I do think that there’s a creator. Translation: Teach God in schools even if other parents do not want their children to have your own personal flavor of religion forced upon their own children; that is their tough luck.

I'm a Christian. I do think that God played a role in creating not only earth, but mankind. Translation: Forget all that factual sciency stuff. Teach Genesis in our schools! Just because there is a mountain of evidence and a working theory of evolution (just as --if not more so -- than gravity) means that I can ignore all the anti-gravity and other science flaws in the bible, if I can deny reality and teach biblical fantasy in classrooms in the form of creationism.

Now, the way that he did it, I’d certainly want my kids to be exposed to the very best science. Translation: I want my kids exposed to the very worst non-science, but only if it can be called 'science'.

I don’t want them to be–I don’t want any facts or theories or explanations to be withheld from them because of political correctness. Translation: Teach them any and all crazy theories and let their untrained newly-forming intellects defer all judgement to that of their equally uneducated and scientifically-illiterate parents. Hell, let's throw in geo-centrism and angels-pushing-down-on-all-objects as an alternative to gravity while we're at it -- oh and don't forget to throw in flat-earthism as well. Those are all also equally credible (to creationism) alternative 'scientific' theories too.

The way we’re going to have smart, intelligent kids is exposing them to the very best science and let them not only decide, but also let them to that body of knowledge. Translation: Mix shoddy non-scientific junk in with the factual real-world premiere science, claim the two viewpoints are equal and on the same factual footing, then set these kids free to: build our airplanes, powerplants, and perform our medical research, of the future. Surely, God's laying on of hands and prayer has the same potency to cure diseases as bare-knuckle hard fact-based research does.

This is what you can expect from the creme-of-the-crop Republican thinkers

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Thursday, June 12, 2008

Redux: An Alternative Spending of the Iraq Money

A couple of years ago I wrote about what could have been done with the money spent on Iraq if it had instead been spent on energy research. Today we learn what the most current cost of the war is and also what the total projected cost will be. Just imagine where we would be as a nation, if we had spent over $600 BILLION on energy research and deployment from 2003 until today and were projecting spending a total of $2.7 TRILLION on energy research over the life of the program.

Just where do you think we would be if we instead of spending this money on a war in Iraq which killed over 4,000 Americans (more than died on 9/11) had spent it on energy research and implementation in our society? We would all be driving vehicles which had a zero carbon footprint, were cheap to operate, were more safe. We would be using electricity generated by zero carbon footprint sources; fusion and fission nuclear power, renewable resources, and our nuclear fuel cycle would be complete (no long term nuclear fuel storage problems).

On top of that, our social issues would be next to zero as well. Every single American would have the best and most thorough health care our children would be the best educated and science would be advanced to almost unimaginable levels. How much is a manned mission to Mars expected to cost, $1 Trillion? Done.

So spend this money on killing 4,000 Americans -- That is sane in the eyes of diehard conservative Republicans. But spending that same amount of money on making this great country a shining star of all that is good -- that is wasteful?? And anyone listens to these people? Instead of our children paying for a great and saving blossoming of science, energy and social salvation (if this pat I have laid out were to have been taken), our children and grandchilden are going to be paying for the deaths of over 4,000 Americans for what?? A halfhearted and despised liberation of Iraq? What sense does that make?

I really do cry when I think about just how wasted this monstruous sum of money has been. And I mourn when I think about how far along we would be as a society if it had been spent as I've outlined.

Evil does not even come close to describing these people who have guided our country for the last 8 years.

Should I bring back Dolly's version of Imagine again? Naw, I've used it too many times already...

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Acts of God in Nature: The Latest Chapter

When a major hurricane hits New Orleans, it is an act of God -- He is punishing a city for hosting a gay pride event. But what about tornadoes? Are they acts of God as well? They can be every bit as disastrous and deadly as a hurricane but only to a smaller area -- say a boy scout camp.

Currently, it is known that four scouts have died. That is tragic to say the least.

But what I have to wonder; actually the thing that I have to wonder about is, is this an act of God? I mean we know why so many of these fundamental/Charismatic Christians claimed that Katrina was an act of God; God hates gays and wanted to destroy them -- taking all of New Orleans with them. So why would God hit the Scouts? They deny entry of gays and atheists into their midst, they profess God. So why would God so specifically target them?

I cannot say. And, I know, that we will not hear an explanation from that very same gang of Christian goons who laud Katrina (and 9/11) as punishment for gays and American secularism (i.e. stark atheism). I almost expect to hear some nonsense about this tragedy being some part of "God's plan" whatever that is.

"Acts of God" indeed. Nature is blind but God is not (if you subscribe to the notion of the Christian's God). Thus everything happens for a reason. Making sense of killing young Boy Scouts via an act of nature can only make Christian rationality look inane. Unless these Christians come out and say God was extremely unhappy (at the same level He is with gays and atheists) with the Scouts expelling gay children and non-religious children from the scouts. Maybe that is God's latest and greatest plan -- secularism, equality and inclusiveness.

Yeah right. Now pull my finger, it plays "Jingle Bells."

The only thing this shows is that nature is real and God is imaginary. And children suffer and die.

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Revisiting Ray Comfort

You know it has been a long while since I have mentioned Ray Comfort. I discussed him even before he had his own blog, Comfort Food. Reading his blog one thing becomes clear; simple questions to him beg absurdly simply answers. And more importantly, well-thought-out questions do not exist and thus have no need of answers. This is obvious in the types of "questions" which get asked and answered As anyone who peruses his blog can see. Nothing tough or above the simple strawman is ever addressed, just simple-minded questions and even more simple-minded answers. This leads one to wonder if this simplemindedness is the only level on which Ray Comfort is able to operate. He after all, is the arch-architect of the infamous "banana" argument for creationism. This alone should has disqualified him from and reasoned Christian discourse. But alas, he has hung around like that pesky "common cold" virus.

I have to admit that I am thankful. For if his is the level of Christian apologetics, then reason, logic, fact and reality have a chance in overcoming Christianity. We can all thank our good friend Ray for that.

Let us take for one example of this, this recent post by our good friend Ray, The Faithiest. He opens it by posing a "question" he recieved. One look at this question and you can instantly tell that it is nothing more than an overly simple question asked in hopes of being overly simply answered. And Ray jumps at the chance of making the simple completely over-simplistic:

"Life forms change over time and given enough time they can and did change dramatically. GET OVER IT! No one is ever, ever going to go back to the idea that species were created fully developed at a specific point in time. NEVER. The details of the theory may change but not the framework. There is no faith involved. Move on. Evolution happens." Milo

I cannot say that I know the mind of Milo, but I can say that his representation here is so absurd as to be laughable. Reality is that humanity learns on a daily basis, we know more today than we did yesterday. Thus what we consider to be factual from day to day never changes, how we interpret those facts as we learn more, changes. Faith is the complete absense of fact. A Muslim has faith in their god, as does a Jew in theirs, as does a Christian in theirs. No fact is involved. Consider a man standing atop the tower of Pisa with a stone in his hand. He cannot say to his friend there, that he has faith if he lets go of the stone it will hit the ground, and his friend cannot say that he has faith it will not hit the ground. This is because they are talking about facts of reality, the real physical world. But in terms of religion, there is no reality whatsoever. It is all faith-based. How can one supernatural god based upon some holy book be better or more real than another god based upon some holy book?

Just look for example at the bible: "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" [Heb 11:1 NKJV]. Since all of nature can be seen of evidence of it seen, then none of nature can be considered in terms of faith. This includes evolution. We see evolution, we see evidence of evolution in the past, we have mountains of facts not just including fossils, which are all nature and thus not faith-based to back up evolution. We have the natural laws of physics to back up dating and relational chronographies. We have chemistry and bio-chemistry, DNA, embyonosis. All these are natural and fact based; thus outside the "unseen" realm of faith.

But none of that shows up in Ray's post at all.

Here is what we do see in Ray's response:
You have said, "Life forms change over time and given enough time they can and did change dramatically." This is what you believe. Its a statement that is based on faith. You weren’t there when the life forms were created, and you didn't see them change. You don’t know how life began; you simply believe that what you have been told actually did happen. Like it or not, you are a "believer" in the theory of evolution.

How life began is not an issue of evolution at all. Evolution deals only with how life, once it occurred, changed over time. How difficult is it for Creationists to understand this very simple fact. The origin of the chemistry of life is completely different from the origins of the diversity of lifeforms once life came into existence. One is a question of speculation, the origin of life, and one is a question of understanding all the facts of life and how well we understand the process that fits all those facts together. And here I repeat this simple, nay simply simple fact that every day we learn more facts and thus have a better -- more precise -- understanding of how all present species came to be like they are today.

But look more closely at what Ray actually does say. Take this quote, "This is what you believe. Its a statement that is based on faith. You weren’t there when the life forms were created, and you didn't see them change." Could this not also be said about George Washington? Who today could have personally seen George Washington? Thus according to Ray Comfort we can only "believe" in George Washington via "faith". Furthermore, we have witnessed lifeforms change, even change into new species. So not only do we have a flat out lie about not witnessing evolution, but we have either deceit or ignorance when it comes to the value (or lack of value according to Ray) of things we have not seen but can verify in totally natural records.

This is again in stark contrast to the supernatural and unknowable ways of any god, not just God or Jesus. Since the bible was written by humans and is undeniably rooted in specifically historical events, it is also natural not supernatural. Thus even the bible itself is not proof of anything supernatural other than the supernatural desirables of its wholly natural authors.

So again we come up against this whole canard of faith applied to the provable and understandable natural realm when it is defined solely by the unseen, unknowable and supernatural realm of the gods. Even the bible tells us this.

Ray Comfort, then must either be a charlatan or wholly ignorant of both real reality and biblical reality.

And more importantly, this is just an example. His entire philosophy and blog is exactly the same.

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